TechKnowledge: A Conversation with Ted Elliott, CEO of Jobscience

When we talk about jobs, the conversation is often about how and where you go to get one.  Much less time is spent talking about how employers can more effectively link their needs with the right people in a more efficient manner.  And yet, if asked off the record, I bet quite a few human resources professionals would be eager to hear about new ways to automate this work, so they can spend more time on the actual recruitment of a candidate. 

Recently, I caught up with Ted Elliott, CEO of Jobscience, who is figuring this out in the cloud.  Here is what Ted had to say.

Q: Ted, what led you to start Jobscience?
A: We wanted to connect employers with jobseekers, our hypothesis was that if we could make the application process easier then more people could find the right job.

Q: What was the opening you saw in the marketplace?
A:  A hospital we worked with asked us to transform our job board technology into an application system for their facility and then told us after a quarter they made more hires than the entire year before we setup the system for them.  This let us know that automation of the recruitment process was "mission critical."

Q: The company name is interesting. Is that implying the HR world is more of a science than an art?  What's the story behind the name?
A: Human Resources and Recruitment have a set of rules that can be applied like a science. Applying these rules allows a company to gain what we refer to as "hire intelligence."  We felt that Jobscience captured the idea that Human Resources is the application of a set of proven rules for how to manage people. Specifically a repeatable way of matching the right people to the right jobs.

Q: You have build hundreds of solutions for your customers. When you walk in to see a new client, what are the most common issues that you see?
A: The Executive Sponsor forgot what it was like to actually look for a job.  Good leaders often times don't have to look for a job ever, or maybe not for years and as a result of there employment success they can be disconnected from the job seeker experience. Little things like applying for a job, filling out new hire paperwork, how you are treated by the HR receptionist have a really big impact on the success of the organization in attracting and retaining the best talent.

Q: How savvy are typical HR departments when it comes to utilizing search techniques and efficient ways to recruit online?  Who is good at it?
A: Recruiters have to be savvy, because even in a slowing economy the number of "high skilled" candidates is far less than the demand for them, this is in large part due to the retirement of the baby boomers and a shortage of candidates to replace them.  We have seen staffing companies taking the lead in the use of "Web 2.0" to be effective recruiters.  Finding the right people is the bread and butter of the staffing industry and studying the trends they are adopting sheds light on the future of recruitment (specifically they are on MySpace, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn).

Q: I noticed a real emphasis on "talent" in your solutions.  Why is talent increasing in importance for companies?
A: We have worked in health care for over a decade, its the "canary in the mine" for talent. Health care has seen a shrinking pool of talent that now is being felt in the energy business, government, engineering, and will impact the market as a whole.  The population demographic dictates that over the next decade there are more people leaving the economy with skills than skilled talent replacing them.  In a slowing economy this may not appear to be a crisis, but without the right talent we can't grow.  Identifying candidates and rapidly responding to them will mean the difference between success and failure.

Q: Your entire company is in the cloud.  You build applications ready for use on  What are the advantages for your customers as a result?
A: Yes, we believe that the efficiency of the cloud is a compelling business advantage. We also believe that represents a stable and scalable business platform to build Talent Relationship Management applications that customers can deploy on demand. Building on allows our customers to have the platform stability of the market leader in SaaS,, with the domain expertise in human capital of Jobscience.  We also are able to link our applications to 850+ ISV's that are using so that we can integrate and leverage their ideas for marketing, operations and finance with our human capital application. The allows us to leverage integration on demand.

Q: What's next?  What should HR professionals and search firms be thinking about as it relates to what Jobscience and the cloud offer?
A: If you are looking to match the best of CRM and TRM, Jobscience has a great set of offerings for Corporate HR, RPO's and Staffing companies. We can help organizations leverage the cloud and adopt new technology on a pay as we use it approach that limits immediate investment outlay and lets an organization take advantage of the latest and best tools to market jobs, manage applicants, and on board new employees.

About the Author: Bob P